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The Balancing Act

By Joseph Iemma
Assistant Features Editor

Our lives change every year, therefore, so do our priorities. Work comes before play, study comes before sleep, and sometimes the only time you can relax is when you sleep.

For most students across the country and particularly at Post, work doesn’t just happen in the classroom. In fact, you’d be surprised how many students work full-time, in addition to being a full-time student.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

“It’s a grind,” says Gabrielle Patino, a junior forensic science major, who works full time as nanny. “Your day begins [with an] 8 a.m. [class], because you scheduled it that way to coincide with your work schedule. Your last class finally ends at 3:20 p.m., and you run to your car to beat the traffic, and pick up the kids in Roslyn by 3:55 p.m.” It’s at that time, 3:55 p.m. when ‘phase two’ of her day begins.

As a nanny, Patino studies while she feeds, and bathes the twin boys, Matt and Ryan, until their parents come home at 9 p.m.; and by that time, she’s just entering ‘phase 3’ of her day.

“After that, it’s me time, if you want to call it that,” Patino said.

“Come 9:30 p.m., it’s time for homework, a shower, a quick chat with my parents and then I’m o to bed.”

Now, just how many days does Patino do this a week? “Four times,” she said.

Although the week for Patino can become a ‘grind’, she appreciates it, claiming that work like this makes her appreciate the little things, builds character, a stronger work ethic, and a skilled time manager.

“I’m no martyr, and I’m not alone. I know plenty of people, students and non-students, who do what I do, and kudos to them. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I certaintly know, I wouldn’t change a thing,” Patino said. Soon after the conversation with Patino, she embarked on the routine she’s come to know all too well, picking up the kids, or as she’d like to call it, ‘Phase 2’

Patino’s balancing act is one that should be revered and respected, in large part because it is so uncommon to see a student voluntarily sign themselves up for that kind of sacrifice.

As Patino said earlier, she is no martyr, but she is an example. She’s an example to all students that if you have time on your hands, and make the most of it; whether it is devoting two hours to study, better positioning you to earn that A in Chemistry, or even applying for a job at the local convenience store.

Fully expend your potential; you go to school barely 10 miles outside the capital of the world, New York City. Recognize your potential, and find out how good you really are.

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